LWMTWB-Internet Law

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Mr Kris Wilson

Email: k.j.wilson@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The module explores the issues related to the law and regulation of the ‘borderless’ internet. These include allocation of jurisdiction; e-privacy and data protection; liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for online crimes and infringements; regulation of domain names; legal issues of cloud computing, software licensing and ‘open source’ distribution; freedom of speech on the internet and intellectual property issues of the information society.

This module aims to provide students with advanced knowledge of the legal, regulatory and policy issues of the cyberspace. In particular, the module aims to enable students to appreciate and critically assess the function of the law in the online environment by reference to the different areas of law that are affected. These mainly include: criminal law, consumer law, data protection, human rights and intellectual property law.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the key legal issues of the internet and the ability to critically assess current issues of internet regulation;
2. Demonstrate the ability to apply elements of consumer law, criminal law, human rights, intellectual property law and data protection to issues arising from the use of the internet and technology applications or services enabled by the internet;
3. Demonstrate the ability to ascertain the substantial law from legislation, case law and secondary literature, as applied to the internet.

Additional outcomes:
In addition to those listed in the School’s ‘core skills statement’, the module will encourage the development of:

• High-level oral communication skills through reflective, analytical class discussion.
• Advanced critical reading skills in relation to primary and/or secondary sources

Outline content:
The module will cover topics such as:

(1) The legal nature of the internet as a borderless and cross-jurisdictional environment and overview of internet governance and regulation issues, including the regulation of internet protocols and domain names.

(2) Liability of internet service providers for crimes and infringements committed by internet users.

(3) Computer-related crimes, such as fraud, identity theft, online libel and defamation; freedom of speech on the internet, censorship.

(4) Cybersecurity, digital rights, trans-border data flow, cloud computing.

(5) Copyright infringement on the internet.

(6) Regulation of online business models, search engines, social networks, mass digitisation and online libraries.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching in this module is designed to provide students with a range of resources on which they can draw in their learning. The main elements are:
•A list of required and recommended readings, with notes and questions that will be used to guide class discussion and reflection.
•6 x 2-hour seminars in the Autumn term. Seminars are discussion based classes.
•Assessed work that will be used to develop students' skills and knowledge.
•An electronic discussion board will be available for students enrolled in this module.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 12
Guided independent study 88
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
1 assessed essay of 8 pages (formatted in accordance with the School of Law's Assessed Work Rules)

Formative assessment methods:
1 optional non-assessed essay of 4 pages (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules)

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the standard University policy.
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
See School of Law PGT programme Handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

Things to do now